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Photo Flipbook 


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build, hack, tweak, share, discover, J 

Photo Flipbook 

Written By: Helen Bradley 


Camera or video camera (1) 

Computer (1) 

Movie Editing Software (1) 
Photoshop Elements or similar 

Printer (1) 


• Photo paper or lightweight cardstock (1) 

• Binder clip (1) 

• Paper trimmer or scissors (1) 


One of my fondest memories of being a kid is my dad teaching me how to make animations. 
We'd take a notebook and draw pictures in the top margin of each page. Each picture would 
be one frame of the animation, so that when you flipped the pages, you could see the object 
in motion. Having been a Royal Australian Air Force pilot, Dad's animations were of biplanes 
invariably crashing in a big explosion, while mine were of horses rearing up and galloping 
across the pages. 

These days, I make animations in the form of flipbooks rather than in notebooks. Flipbooks 
use the same theory as the notebook animations: lots of small images stacked on top of one 
another, whose subject changes position from one image to the next. They're easy to make 
and fun to give. 

© Make Projects 

Page 1 of 6 

Photo Flipbook 

• You can either use a set of 
individual photos you take in a 
sequence or extract clips from a 
short video. You'll need 3CM0 
individual images in total. 

• For this flipbook I enlisted the help 
of sisters Allison, Ginger, and 
Katyann Lewallen. Allison wrote the 
words "Happy New Year" on 3 
sheets of cardstock, and each of 
the girls took 1 page and decorated 
it with markers to create a colorful 
message. We rehearsed the 
sequence out on the deck, which 
had a nice, neutral background, so 
they knew what they needed to do. 
Then I captured a short, 20-second 
film with each girl showing her 
word, then finishing with a wave 
and everyone yelling "Happy New 

• If you're shooting still images, use 
a tripod to keep the camera steady, 
and take the photos as your 
subject goes through the moves. 
Take more photos than you need 
so you have plenty to choose from. 

© Make Projects 

Page 2 of 6 

Photo Flipbook 

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• To extract clips from a movie on a 
Windows PC, use Windows Movie 
Maker, which comes installed with 
Windows XP and Vista. Launch 
Windows Movie Maker, choose 
File -> Import into Collections, 
and select your movie clip. Then 
click Play. 

• Click Pause at the first frame you 
want to save, and click Take 
Picture under the playback 
window. Type a name for the 
image. It's easier to assemble the 
book if you add a sequence number 
to the images, so call them 
something like flipbook01.jpg, 
flipbook02.jpg, and so on. Click 
Next Frame a few times and save 
another image. Continue to move 
through the clip, taking pictures 
every few frames until you have 
30-40 frames saved as individual 

• The process on a Mac is similar: 
use iMovie to open the clip and 
locate the frame to capture. 
Choose File -> Save Frame As 
and use the JPEG format. 

© Make Projects 

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Photo Flipbook 

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• To print the still images, you need 
software that will lay out and print a 
series of small images. Photoshop 
Elements is one program that can 
do this. Launch the program and 
select Organize. 

• Click File -> Get Photos and 
Videos -» From Files and 

Folders, and find and open the 
folder containing the photos. Select 
the images, disable the 
"Automatically Fix Red Eyes" 
checkbox and the "Automatically 
Suggest Photo Stacks" checkbox, 
and click Get Photos to load the 
photos into the collection. If you get 
an import error, open the photos in 
the Photoshop Elements editor, 
save them by choosing File -> 
Save As and click the "Include in 
the Organizer" checkbox before 

© Make Projects 

Page 4 of 6 

Photo Flipbook 

In the Organizer, select all the photos you just imported: click on the first photo and then 
Shift + click on the last. Choose File -> Print to open the "Print Photos" dialog. From the 
"Select Type of Print" list, choose Contact Sheet or Labels and select a layout that gives 
you 9 or more photos per sheet and some white space on the left side of each image. 
Disable the Date, Caption, Filename, and Page Numbers options if you're creating a 
Contact Sheet. Print the images onto lightweight photo paper or light cardstock. 

NOTE: As an alternative to using Photoshop Elements, Picasa has a good printing 

tool for folks using PCs. Select the photos you want to use, click Print, and from 

the Tools -» Options -» Printing tab, select 5cmx8cm as the printing size. Picasa is free 

and available from . Unfortunately, Picasa isn't yet available for 

the Mac. 

Ideas for flipbooks: Make a flipbook to celebrate an event such as a birthday, to record an 
activity such as your child walking or dancing, or just to say hello to someone. The books 
can be as simple or as complex as you like. 

© Make Projects 

Page 5 of 6 

Photo Flipbook 

• Use scissors or a paper trimmer to 
cut out the photos, leaving an equal 
amount of white space on the left 
side of each photo. Assemble the 
photos in order, with the first in the 
series on top and the last on the 

• If desired, select a special image to 
use as the front cover. Use a large 
business stapler to secure the 
images or clip them with a binder 
clip. To view the animation, bend 
the right-hand side of the book 
back and flip through the images. 

• Visit en.php 
to learn about the history of 
flipbooks and to see some of the 
more than 4,000 flipbooks the site 
has cataloged. 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 09 . page 120. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 01 :43:23 AM. 

© Make Projects 

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